London, England is such an amazing city to visit; there is a lot of history mixed with modern, as well as famous sites, world-class shopping, great food, and a real mix of people and cultures. But when you visit a city as busy and bustling as London, being able to do a few things that are a little off the tourist track is always a good idea. So with that in mind, here are some of the best things that you can be doing to make sure that you explore London like a local. The tourist spots are great, but the hidden gems that the locals know about are the best.
Get Ready To Walk
Like a lot of European cities, London is a city that is best to discover and explore when you do so on foot. The underground system is great and all, but you miss a lot when you’re not walking around. Plus, if you want to get public transport, you will be doing a lot of standing no doubt, so being comfortable and ready to walk is ideal. There are self-guided walking tours of London that you can book onto, as well as just getting from one place to another by foot; you won’t miss anything that way.
Living in London can be pretty expensive, so you better believe that the free museums are for local people as much as they are for tourists. So no matter where your interests are, from history, art, or archaeology, there will be a museum in London just for you. It is a great way to save money, see a bit more of the city, and learn something new.
Experience the Hidden Gems
If you want to experience a little more of what London has to offer rather than just Buckingham Palace and Big Ben, then looking out for and exploring some hidden gems is a really good idea. Places like the park of St Dunstan in the East of London, for example, then heading to the bars in Canary Wharf, and then wandering along the Thames Foreshore, are just a few ideas. Visiting places like the St Bartholomew the Great church, rather than the typical St Pauls can be a good idea.
Great British Food
When in London, you can experience all different varieties of food, from the curries on Brick Lane to fine dining in Kensington. But eating some British grub is a must. A traditional pub lunch is a must, and perhaps an afternoon tea (you can be spoilt for choice of where to go to in London). If you’re feeling adventurous, then head to the markets to get some British pastries and treats, as well as some ‘delicacies’ like jellied eels and cockles.
If you think that the locals are going to be shopping on Oxford Street for their wares, then you’d be wrong; leave that to the tourists. So Instead, think about visiting some of the markets in London for the real Londoner experience. Borough Market, Portobello Road, and Shepherd’s Bush are all good ideas.
Header Image by Benjamin Davies
This post is a contribution to HandZaround.com